Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, defended the new fuel price regime that sparked a wave of criticism in the country mainly because of the subsequently hiked the pump price, and he said it would encourage massive investment in infrastructure by attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), BellaNaija reported with information of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) .

During an emergency plenary held by members of the House of Representatives in Abuja, the minister explained that the new price would encourage foreign investors to focus on the big tickets, such as pipelines and refineries for the development of the upstream oil and gas sectors. According to him, it will also increase refining capacity of the domestic refineries through relocation and co-relocating smaller, but cost efficient refineries within a time frame of 12 to 24 months.

The minister added that the deregulation would enable the government to focus on funding in the upstream, where funding had been less than 30%.

Furthermore, as All Africa reported, Kachikwu explained in a tweet on his twitter handle @ibekachikwu that the federal government would have had to shop for N16.4b every month to offset subsidy claims of petrol marketers if it had not taken the decision to remove subsidy on fuel consumption.